The importance of dietary fiber for digestive health is well-known, but a recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine revealed a strong association between low fiber intake and poor cardiovascular health. The study collected data from over 23,000 adults over a period of 11 years (1999-2010) and found that participants with low fiber intake were more likely to suffer from obesity, inflammation, and metabolic syndrome—all of which are cardiovascular risk factors.
The average dietary fiber intake for study participants was 16 grams per day, which is below the recommended amount for both men and women. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men under 50 consume 38 grams of fiber daily (30 grams for over 50) and women under 50 consume 25 grams of fiber daily (21 grams for over 50).
In addition to the benefits fiber might have on your heart health, meeting your recommended daily intake can also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar while also contributing to a maintaining a healthy weight.
To help you meet your fiber goals, we put together a list of fiber rich foods to emphasize in your diet:
- Corn: one ear of corn contains two grams of fiber. Or, try air-popped popcorn for a fiber rich snack.
- Avocados: One entire avocado contains about ten grams of fiber!
- Beans: While the exact amount of fiber varies by bean, black beans contain around 15 grams per cup.
- Edamame: A half cup serving boasts nine grams.
- Whole Wheat Breads and Pastas: The whole wheat versions retain far more fiber than their white counterparts.
- Oats: Containing both soluble and insoluble fiber, oats are good for your cholesterol and digestion.
- Broccoli: In addition to its other many health benefits, broccoli has around 5 grams of fiber per serving.
- Apples and Pears: Don’t peel off the skin—it contains the bulk of the fiber!
- Artichokes: Though most people eat just the hearts, a whole artichoke contains over ten grams of fiber.
- Raspberries: Just one cup can cover up to a third of your fiber needs.
Do you think you get enough dietary fiber? What is your favorite fiber rich food?